Key Strategies for Overcoming Psychological Insulin Resistance in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: The UK Subgroup in the EMOTION Study

Diabetes Therapy, 2020


Many patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) delay initiation of insulin therapy despite healthcare professional (HCP) advice. This phenomenon has been referred to as 'psychological insulin resistance' (PIR), and various contributing factors have been identified. Studies discussing approaches to overcoming PIR are lacking. Our aim was to identify the key strategies used by HCPs that most helped adults with T2DM and PIR in the UK to initiate insulin.


As part of a global study, UK adults with T2DM and PIR were recruited (N = 125) to take a survey that included 38 HCP statements and actions about insulin initiation. Data assessed were perceived occurrence and helpfulness of these strategies in facilitating insulin initiation.


The most helpful strategies involved demonstrating the injection process (e.g. HCP talked patient through the process of taking insulin [83.6%]) and adopting a collaborative approach (HCP encouraged patient to contact the clinic immediately in case of any problems/questions [80.5%]). Additionally, HCPs highlighting the benefits of insulin (HCP explained that insulin was a natural substance needed by patient's body [81.2%]) and allaying patients' concerns (HCP explained that patient might not have to take insulin forever [78.0%]) helped patients initiate insulin. The least helpful action was HCPs repeatedly persuading patients to initiate insulin (40.9%).


The study recommends key strategies that HCPs can adopt to help adults with T2DM overcome PIR in the UK.

View abstract


Balogh EG, Perez-Nieves M, Cao D, Hadjiyianni II, Ashraf N, Desai U, Snoek FJ, Sturt JA